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Sal Taybrim

Executive Council member
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Posts posted by Sal Taybrim

  1. Very interesting and compelling end to one of our antagonists - bravo Mr. Davis!
    ((Theseus, Bridge))
    Kurin: You mean surrender?
    Chax: What! And risk getting stuck in a penal colony again? Last time I was there I was roomed with this Starfleet brat that wouldn’t stop talking about “blue jeans,”  “television,” and “gasoline powered cars.” It was insufferable.
    Fuse: What it comes down to, is the choice between life and death! ::he raised his voice slightly:: Do we wish to die, cowering in a pool of our own excrement? Or do we do what we can to survive? Live to fight another day. I refuse to believe this is the end of the line. ::He looked each crewmember in the face.:: The Captain may be gone, but we are still a crew.
    Kurin: I’m with Fuse.
    Chax: But we can still get away. Invert the polarity on the hull plating, make a low-level subspace field, anything!
    Chax became increasingly angry as Fuse negotiated. He tried to listen, but his mind flooded with all the memories. Memories he didn’t want, memories he had long suppressed. What was his name? Nicolas? No. Bobby? No, but it was a boring human name. A son of an Admiral, too. He sulked around the penal colony. It was insulting. Though it was a prison of sorts, Chax had never lived somewhere so… nice. Which made him hate the Federation even more. The audacity to place someone in a prison nicer than their own home was an insult. And this Admiral’s son, whining and complaining all the time, had no idea what life was like outside of the Federation, the penal colony, or even the Sol system. The sheer privilege of it all made his second stomach churn, and his gizzard clench. There was no way he could go back there.
    (( OOC: Condensing a bit since there were no open tags.))
    Rajel: =/\= As you can see we are backing away. You may want to die, but my crew has a strong will and instinct to survive. Within the next 30 seconds we will be out of transporter range. This is your last chance. Contact us before it is too late. Constitution out. =/\=
    The channel closed and silence fell over the bridge, broken up by the occasional ping of flexing metal.
    Fuse: =/\= Bridge to all hands. I won’t make the decision for you, but i’m sure you can all tell that we have found ourselves in a precarious position. The hull is buckling and we only have…::He looked at the data again.:: Two minutes to make a decision. Do we go with the Federation or stay and go down with the ship? All who wish to live report to the galley and prepare for transport. =/\=
    Fuse: I suppose you have the bridge Chax.
    Chax: And I suppose you can go to hell. I hope you rot in that penal colony, rot from the inside.
    Kurin: ?
    Fuse: ::Shaking his head:: However you may feel about it, some of us want to live. No matter the cost.
    Chax: Funny that you call prison living. I intend to thrive.
    Kurin: ?
    Fuse turned and left the bridge, and Chax started barking orders from his console. He had no time to waste.
    Chax: Invert the polarity of the hull plating. Can we create a low-level subspace field around us?
    The bridge was a flurry of activity, every station doing what they could to try and save the ship enough to escape. Yet everything they tried couldn’t stop hull from breaking and heating. Whatever that dust was, it was deadly.
    Fuse: =/\= Theseus to Constitution. You win. Five souls ready for transport. =/\=
    Chax cursed under his breath at the cowards as he continued to work. Hull integrity continued to fall at a precipitous rate, as the temperate continued to climb.
    Bridge Pirate: Chax! The dust is interacting with the gravimetric distortions from the anomalous cluster of stars. If we can isolate ourselves from those distortions, we should be fine.
    Chax understood some of those words. Avoid the gravity, save the ship. Gravity comes from mass. Warp drive creates a bubble that makes the ship mass-less. At least, that’s what he thought he knew.
    Chax: =/\=Engineering, we need a warp bubble, now!=/\=
    Engineering: =/\=Wha- no, impossible between the nebula and the gra-=/\=
    Chax: Make it possible, or we’ll definitely be dead.
    The line simply clicked off. Hull integrity dropped below 20%, with atmosphere venting alarms starting to show across the ship. Nothing they couldn’t fix, if they could get away.
    A message popped up on his display: Engineering requests all possible power, including structural integrity fields. So this is how it had to be, huh? One shot. He was no stranger to life-or-death situations. He approved, and immediately the power levels dropped drastically across ship system as engineering overcharged the warp core, trying to brute-force a warp bubble. Alarms and klaxons wailed, declaring imminent failure.
    A situational button appeared on his panel: engage warp bubble. It appears Engineering wanted to give him the honors.
    Chax: To our freedom.
    Chax pressed the button with cool determination, and he heard the coils charge; faster and to a far greater capacity that he’d ever seen before. More alarms and klaxons, this time because the nacelles were under incredible stress. His held his breath, and clenched all his fists. He began to wonder if he should have transported over. And at the last moment, the charge was released, creating a single, large pulse to establish a warp bubble.
    In the picoseconds that the bubble formed and propagating outward from the nacelles, the hull atomized into a cloud of plasma. With appropriate temporal resolution, it would be possible to trace the propagation of the warp bubble across the hull, as the sudden and drastic change in the local effects of gravity ripped the hull apart at the molecular level. As it raced across the hull, ejecting superheated plasma in every direction, it ignited the atmosphere in the ship. The plasma conduits routed through the hull were ripped open, too, sending electrified plasma arcing everywhere.
    Had this occurred over a timespan that Chax could appreciate, it would have been quite a show. But sadly; as the hull surrounding the bridge atomized and the atmosphere ignited, it also blew out into open space, along with Chax. Behind him, the ship exploded outwards as the damaged warp core’s antimatter pods were compromised and began to annihilate into pure energy. But not only was he on fire in the burning atmosphere, he was pushed into the field of superheated plasma. As his body intersected with it, it too atomized. The molecular makeup of his body was far less able to withstand heat than the hull material.
    But fortunately it did not occur over a time period he, or anyone else on the ship, could experience. The nerves in their bodies didn’t even have enough time to signal “pain.”
    All Chax or anyone else still on the Theseus knew was existence, followed by non-existence.
    And the Theseus herself, similarly paradoxically lost. All that she was still existed, but the atoms were all messed about and scattered. Some turned into pure energy. She had lost her identity entirely.
    (( Elsewhere ))
    An old man, sick from both radiation and an overdose of anti-radiation medicine, kicked open the cockpit of a warp-capable escape sled with his last bit on energy. Rich Orion air. Soon, hands were all over him, lifting him up and out.
    - fin -
    MSNPC Chax
    Captain of the Theseus
    (Very briefly)
    as simmed by
    Lieutenant Lazarus Davis
    Chief Science Officer
    USS Constitution-B
    Podcast Team Facilitator
    IDIC team member
    ASDB team member
    (he/him, character)
    (he/they, writer)
    “Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” – Dylan Thomas
    • Like 1
  2. (This is a really compelling sim that blends personal demons with the cruelty of the storyline bad guy.  Beautifully written!)


    ((The Waiting Room))

    Tatash followed behind the group as they entered the small waiting area offset from the court room. He could tell instantly that it was soundproof as the door fell behind them, isolating them instantly from the hubbub of the arena outside to the point where a pin dropping would have echoed around the room.

    He turned his attention towards the other person in the room, the same striking handsome faced that had looked up at them from the PADD, the same one that was a harbinger of the cult they were seeking to destroy.

    He flashed them a smile, but it wasn’t a friendly one, it was the smile of a hungry cat toying with it’s prey before consuming them. Predatory, cruel.

    Kelemkor: Ah, Vro’che.  You have done such a good job in guarding these… Starfleet … guests.

    There was a tone behind that message, the emphasis placed on guests was levied with something that implied they were anything but.

    Vroche: ?

    Tatash kept himself quiet, he was still appearing meek, humble. It was not his place to talk.

    DeVeau: ?

    Kelemkor stood up and swept towards the trio of Starfleet officers.

    Kelemkor: Ah, Commodore Taybrim and entourage.  ::He smiled in a lovely but cold way.:: Allow me to introduce myself.  I am Kelemkor, your aide for this trial.

    Taybrim: ::Calmly, diplomatically:: I was not aware we merited an aide.

    Vroche: ?

    Tatash: We are not the ones on trial, we do not require an aide. This is extremely unusual.

    DeVeau: ?

    Tatash hated this… sleaze, this fake-speak that permeated the group. It was clear now that there intentions of this man were not friendly, but he was laying the verbal equivalent of a flower wreath on a shallow grave he’d started to dig for them all.

    Kelemkor: Come now, Commodore.  Surely Attorney Li’otha has explained to you that the likely outcome of this trial is the execution of your officers. 

    Taybrim: That is a possibility we hope to avoid. ::Sal stated firmly.::

    Vroche: ?

    Tatash: The political fallout for such a terrible, wasteful punishment would be immense. Is Qo’nos really going to risk hefty sanctions and a souring of relations with the Federation over an internal matter?

    DeVeau: ?

    He moved towards them again, and Tatash felt something creeping in the back of his mind. A strange sensation like someone was peering through a window at him, a shadow creeping in his thoughts like some sort of muffled spectre.

    Kelemkor: There are ways you could save them, if you are careful. 

    Those dark eyes connected with his, they lingered for a moment.

    Taybrim: I am already careful.  ::he said with a low conviction.::

    Vroche: ?

    DeVeau: ?

    Tatash: Could you please step back…

    The figure didn’t, and Tatash found his thoughts wandering. He didn’t know how to counter the invasion, he’d never experienced something so deeply violating before as he felt his memories dragged up to the surface.

    ((Flashback – The Battle of the Albion))

    ::Diago was thankfully quick on his trigger, the Albion letting out orange bursts of energy towards the attacking ships that did their best to adapt to the sudden new parameter being thrown at them, several exploding into blossoms of yellow before subduing into frozen shards of gas and metal.

    One by one their number went down, a few elated cheers coming over the comms as the electronic smokescreen surrounding the fighters started to dissapate along with their numbers. Even Tatash couldn't help but feel himself slightly untense, until that split second of relief bore a heavy price.

     His Valkyrie spun violently as something tore hard against the port side, what had once been a pristeen wing now a twisted peice of metal. He'd been rammed, the drones apparently programmed to take every last risk when it came to ensuring victory against their designated enemy::

     Computer: Warning, Port engines destroyed. Compensating.

     ::Slowly the ship came about, steading herself out as she limped towards the Albions perimeter, but the moment had been enough for one of the drones to deliver a firm volley against her damaged hull. Tatash flailed in his chair, thrown against the side of his cockpit as alarms wailed on each console::

     Computer: Catastrophic damage. Eject. Eject.

     ::His training took over, clawed hands grasping for the lever under his seat that would throw the entire cockpit out as a makeshift lifeboat, one tug. Nothing, two tugs. Still nothing::

     Computer: Ejection failure. 

     ::His heart was pounding, the blue glow of the Albions shuttlebay painfully close as he fired up the emergency thrusters, throwing him forwards towards it as he tapped on the comms system hoping to the pale goddess it still worked::

     Tatash: =/\= Tatash to Albion. Mayday, Mayday.

     ::Nothing, whatever response had come through was distorted static blasting through his earpeice. His cockpit was cracking, a thin spiderweb slowly erupting over what was once an impossibly strong material::

     Tatash: =/\= Mayday... 

     Computer: Warning, landing gear failure. All systems failing

     ::All he could do now was hope as he continued to push towards the docking bay at speed, his scaled knuckles amost white as he did his best to assert what limited control he had on the ruined vehicle. The Albions damaged hull rushed past him as he saw the massive catching net erupting from the shuttlebay floor, he could even make out technicians running for cover as time seemed to slow down as the adrenaline pushing through him hit his peak.

     The nose hit the net with tremendous force, the entire fuselage crumpling down as he was thrown forward, what was a moment of reality pushed into a murky darkness::

    ((The Waiting Room))

    Tatash snarled, a guttural, violent sound erupting from him as he found himself transfixed on Kelemkor.

    Taybrim/DeVeau/Vroche: ?

    Kelemkor: ?

    Tatash: Get out of my damned he…

    ((Flashback – Tilanna V - 3,500 feet above ground level))

     ::Lights shimmered around him as suddenly his body was forced to spread outwards, Raisillius floating along behind him in freefall. His HUD finally sprang to life, altimeters and artificial horizons along with a target zone flashed up by Falcon's careful navigation.::

    Computer: 3,000 Feet. Caution: Exceeding recommended speed.

    Tatash: =/\= Pushing through the pollution layer now, watch out for civilian traffic.

     ::The greenish haze under them approached rapidly, breaking apart into a murky soup of unknown gasses as vehicles passed them by on each side. Some swerved desperately to avoid the two black figures falling, others skimmed by so close that Tatash could make out the faces of their pilots, all mouth agape for that brief split second::

     Computer: 1,500 Feet. Danger: Extreme risk to life. Terminal velocity achieved. Deploy parachute.

     ::He override the suit with a tap on his wrist as the target zone became larger, clearer. As they dropped closer and closer the outlines of the sprawling factory became clearer, each building becoming more then just a mass of grey and brown::

     Tatash: =/\= We pull at a 200 feet. You heard right. We open fire from 200 feet above, bring the damned roof down to cushion our fall.

     Computer: 500 feet.

     ::He watched the meter ticking from the corner of his eye, four hundred.... three hundred... every part of him was thumping with adrenaline, every nerve firing off as he pulled the cord. He could feel himself being yanked upwards, threatening to rip the suit right off him as it struggled to cope with the extreme stress placed under it, especially as the micro-boosters attached to the sides also fired.

     It took all his willpower to bring his carbine up, the Communicators of his stricken team finally appearing, clustered together in what looked like the dead end of a corridor. Raisillius had already started hosing down the roof and Tatash joined that heavenly choir, leaving the thin steel punctured and shattered before finally his thick boots finished off the rest of it.

     The both tumbled in with a tremendous crack, something twinging in his shins as they impacted the corridor with more force then he'd have liked, but the adrenaline took care of that momentary pain as he continued to fire down the corridor. Figures slumped and fell, toppling down in complete surprise as the two heaven sent warriors pushed back up against them.

     A few shots landed nearby, one clipping him in his armored pauldron, tearing it off with a sizzle causing his helmet to go dead for a moment as it automatically rerouted control around. The perpetrator meeting a viscous and swift hand from Raisillius's precise bursts of fire.::

     Tatash: ::Yelling over the din:: Grenade out!

     ::He tossed one of those little ovoids down the corridor towards the attacking force, pressing himself back against the wall before the large bang made his ears ring, the shockwave moving down the corridor enough to make him wobble slightly. A second explosion occurred as the Captain took a chance to throw his own.

     Tatash didn't need to venture down the corridor to see the results of their effort, the remains of what had a moment ago been aggressive forces now strewn across the floor made gloomy by a pall of smoke. It was grisly, but there was no sympathy. War was never a pleasant thing to look at.::

    ((The Waiting Room))

    The invasion stopped, something was dripping. A steady drop-drop-drop onto the floor.

    Pain, searing pain. Something was in his grip. Something heavy. Rage, incalculable rage was pushing through his veins like fire numbing even the ripping sensation in his flank. Every battle he'd fought in, every person he'd lost, killed, maimed pushing his actions like the fury of a thousand ghosts.

    He heard shouting, muffled, like hearing things through water. A dull cacophony that wasn't making sense, it was just.. noise. Noise around him, hands trying to grab at him, pulling him, he would not move. He could -not- move. He was war, he was fury.

    Taybrim: ?

    He heard that, that familiar voice like a lighthouse beckoning him back to his senses like suddenly being thrown in front of a moving train. His conscious snapped back to reality, but still lost in a mire of confusion.

    Kelemkor was hovering a foot above the ground, a gasping sound coming from him as a scaled hand was wrapped around his neck, but still he had that smile on his face. Whose hand was that?

    Tatash blinked, finally releasing those fingers as Kelemkor dropped back down rubbing his neck with that same face, but now mixed with amusement, like someone had just won an astounding and surprising victory.

    Taybrim/DeVeau/Vroche: ?

    Kelemkor: ?

    Tatash didn’t respond, the mystery of the dripping sound suddenly starting to snap together in his head as he looked at the D’k tahg in Vroche’s hand, it was red. Wet.

    It was like his nerves were moving in slow motion, the hand that had dropped Kelemkor pressing against his flank where his uniform was tore and that same warm wetness was running down the inside of it.

    Tatash: Sal, I… I’m sorry, I don’t… I don't understand.

    Confusion was met with logic. He’d tried to kill Kelemkor, the guard, understandably had tried to stop him. A firearm would have drawn attention, a knife was quiet. But why? Why had he tried to kill him?

    Confusion, endless confusion. He felt the medkit tossed at him by Kelemkor who seemed endlessly amused, thumbing over the catch relying now on pure training drill, fingertips searching for something to staunch the wound.

    Taybrim/DeVeau/Vroche: ?

    Kelemkor: ?



    Major Tatash

    Marine Intelligence (Charlie Company)

    Starbase 118 Ops




    • Like 2
  3. A brilliant little passage into the IDIC variety of species in the galaxy:


    Qo’noS. Tatash had never visited it before, but the sudden warmth and hint of moisture in the air washed over him like a soothing blanket. Even with the slight hint of rotting meat in the air the whole place felt like home. A little uncomfortable by human standards, but it was to Tatash what Risa was to them. Perfect.


    • Like 1
  4. When a random idea on Discord becomes an adventure...


    ((Starbase 118 - IKS Yan – Unlisted Shuttebay 14))


    Yael:  ::trying to lighten the moment::  Give me a few minutes before you send in the Marines.


    He took his non-standard phaser, slipped it into his decorated vest, and headed into the vent in search of whatever it was.  It was a bit more snug than even a Jeffreys Tube, but he was trim enough that he could manage, and it was wide enough to possibly turn around… maybe.


    The smell was terrible on the bridge, but was concentrated in the vent.  Ashley tried not to think about it too much and just breathed through his nose… he didn’t want the *taste* of whatever it was in his mouth.


    Crawling, he could barely fit in the vent… there was more space side to side than there was up to down, so he made his way somewhat slowly.  It was darker now, and getting darker… he tried not to breathe too deeply, but it was hard not to be a bit claustrophobic in this sort of place… reaching into his pocket on his vest, he produced a small multi-tool and activated the small flashlight.  He held it in his mouth as he moved.


    The smell was worsening, and he shuddered as he turned a slight left corner in the vent.  It was *RANCID*... and smelled of death, or disease.  His instinct was to stay away, but he needed to clear it.


    Finally he came upon… something.  Another slight left turn in the vent, and there it was.


    The rotting husk of a targ.


    He nearly vomited at the sight of it, but kept the contents of his stomach *inside* his stomach, by some matter of willpower.


    It was probably one of the most *gross* things he’d ever seen.  Live targ were gross enough, furry, and dirty animals, with hardly a friendly feature.  This one was a starved husk that had partially melted into the grating in the “floor” of the vent.


    Yael:  ::his nose wrinkling in disgust::  Ugh…


    Pulling the phase pistol from his vest, he checked his settings, made sure it was on a high yield, took aim with both hands while braced on his elbows, and fired a single long shot at the mass.


    It lit up with the power of the pistol, and over the course of two seconds completely disintegrated.  All that was left was the stain on the grate beneath where it had laid down to die.


    Sighing lightly, Ashley lowered the phaser and his gaze, glad to be rid of one small problem in the line of problems…


    And then yelped in shock when something grabbed his ankle.


    Instantly his body jerked in response as he kicked at whatever had hold of him, and his head smacked into the vent above.  Grunting, looking quickly down past his body in the vent, he swung the phaser to aim down the length of his legs ready to shoot whatever it was, and found… with his heart in his throat… 




    Absolutely nothing.


    He breathed hard for a solid moment, eyes darting in the low light from the multi-tool that had fallen to the grated floor of the vent, searching for movement or hostile shapes and finding none.


    Nothing.  There was nothing.


    He had to get out of here.  The smell was obviously melting his brain.


    Tucking the phaser back in his vest, he reached a hand up to rub the back of his head while cringing at the throbbing pain.


    Yael:  Oww… freaking Klingon ship, trying to murder me…


    Carefully… gauging just how capable he was of doing it first… he turned round in the vent.  It took a bit more stretch than he was comfortable with, but he was able to do it.  Then he made his way back down the vent.  He’d made two slight lefts to get here, so he needed two slight rights to return.  Though, in the darkness, he *knew* where he was, his stress level was rising.


    He didn’t want to end up a desiccated body stuck in an endless array of vents like that poor targ had.


    The light began to reflect down the shaft as he got closer to his entry point, and then he saw the point of light that would lead him back to the command center of the vessel.  As soon as he broke through the vents open hatch he took a deep breath, the air on the bridge far less repulsive than that trapped in the vents.  Pushing his upper body free first, then pulling his legs free behind him, he stood and brushed himself off.


    Yael:  ::in a muted tone::  Well, *that* was exciting… ::to the others::  Some poor targ decided to get lost in the vent.  Probably a foodstuff left behind when the vessel was taken out of active service.


    McLaren:  ?


    Yael:  Incinerated what was left of it.  Hopefully the air begins to clear.  ::giving their team leader a smile::  It’ll improve morale, if nothing else.


    Blackwell/Parvana/Zel:  ?




    Rogue Merchant & Opportunist


    Lieutenant JG Ashley Yael


    Starbase 118 Ops


    • Like 2
  5. A wonderful little character study, well done @Ashley Yael!

    ((Starbase 118 Operations - Counselor Yael’s Quarters))


    Ashley set about a few things at a rapid pace after leaving his meeting at the Black Tower.  First, he canceled his appointments for the foreseeable future, making certain the other counselors knew to take on his cases.  He hated leaving them to take on the brunt of the work, but it was for a mission after all, so it was necessary.


    Next up, he gave a call to the base petting zoo and arranged for them to take Feazel.  He wasn’t sure if that would be permanent, but he certainly couldn’t leave him without care in his quarters for an extended period of time.  The Denobulan lemur glanced at him as he said his name… the petting zoo staff agreed to take him in for the time being.


    He did warn them he wasn’t *quite* domesticated yet… though he wasn’t quite as face-clutchingly clawtastic as he was the day he’d arrived.


    Next he requisitioned several items from medical… first, a dozen emergency med kits, and a complement of portable medical equipment, including a full bio-bed with a surgical dome and body scanner.  One bio-bed was better than nothing, and since it was all portable and not directly integrated into the ship systems, they could excuse the Fleet technology as a black market purchase.


    He also made a point of having sub-dermal communicators prepared in injectors.  They wouldn’t be able to use their normal communicators, but they may need a way to discreetly communicate.  Injecting the team could be his first medical duty.  He arranged to have all the gear transported directly to the Yan.


    After that, he set about packing a few things for himself, and replicating some clothing.  Off came the uniform, everything that could identify him as an officer or Starfleet was dismissed.  He needed to look the part of a semi-successful merchant… but still be functional.  After putting some thought into it he finally got the combination he was going for.


    The only item he didn’t discard was his electro-stabilizing wrist braces.  Couldn’t do without those… but they weren’t Fleet-specific technology.


    Dressing, he pulled on a pair of snug black pants.  The material was leather-like but still quite comfortable, with a laced-down pattern running down each side from hip to ankle.  Next he pulled on a pair of black boots that appeared simple, but they were made of a luxurious Terellian leather.  They gave him an extra inch of height, having a thick, ridged sole.  He made sure to add just a little scuff to the boots, to make them look not-quite brand-new.


    Next he pulled on a black button up collared shirt, which had a bit of formal flair down the chest, and slipped on a decorative red and black vest atop it, buttoning it down.  It was embroidered with a classic Denobulan pattern.  Finally he buttoned the wrists of his shirt, a double cuff decorated with amethysts that were almost as pale as glass.


    Ruffling his hair and sweeping it forward somewhat haphazardly, he made certain it was a bit more care-free than his typical well-kept look… he was glad he’d been growing it out.  It looked much less “Fleet” this way.


    Overall, as he took a look… he looked *expensive* and somewhat formal, but not stuffy.  The look of a relatively successful merchant with an eye for the finer things, without looking extravagant or overly wealthy.  For good measure, he raided his stash of latinum, sliding several strips into the hidden pockets on the inside of his vest.


    He lifted the last item he’d requisitioned and had replicated.  A set of rather pricey looking wire, frameless eyeglasses… which were actually a wireless smart computer.  He could interlink with it using pre-set eye movements, or verbal commands, and he could link it with any unprotected computer system.  Definitely not standard issue gear… he set them atop his head in his hair, and the slightly iridescent sheen of the screens reflected the color of his hair.  It had limited processing power, but it was just the sort of toy a tricky merchant might use for his benefit.


    Finally, he used an ankle brace to hold a small medical hypo-spray close to his skin and hidden beneath his pant leg… the daily medication he had to take.  Not something he could do without, but something he didn’t want to advertise... or lose.


    Standing, he smoothed down the vest.  Overall… he was definitely liking what he saw in the mirror.  If he went to work at counseling like this, no one would take him seriously.  But for a rogue merchant on a commandeered Bird of Prey?  It was random, individualistic, functional… and as far from Fleet as it got.


    He had one more stop to make… for cosmetic alterations.


    Making his way from his quarters to the Promenade, he found the tattoo shop and stepped inside, quickly getting the attention of the artist who was unburdened by a client.


    Yael:  I need a few piercings.


    He pointed to the end of his eyebrow just at the upper arch before his facial ridge began.


    Yael:  One here. 


    Then he lifted a hand to his opposite ear, gently gripping the curve of his inner helix.


    Yael:  And three smaller ones here.  All amethyst.


    The artist eyed him curiously but didn’t ask questions.  Thankfully the Human woman was fast at what she did.  Four quick stabs of pain later, and tolerating the small touches required to get it done, he had four new piercings.  Nothing he couldn’t have healed up when they returned home.


    For good measure, he had a semi-permanent tattoo done… a thin line of black liner added to just the top of his eyes, adding a touch of glamour, he thought, and completing the almost-ostentatious look he was going for.  He was quite pleased with the overall disguise, actually.


    Now he just had to *act* the part.


    Paying for the cosmetic service and giving the artist a smile, he walked to the nearest transporter and had himself delivered to the Yan so he could get the lay of the Bird of Prey's, and place the emergency med kits in a variety of vital points.




    Lieutenant JG Ashley Yael


    Starbase 118 Ops


    • Like 2
  6. Quote

    Saveron: If we cannot take the Constitution closer safely, we could always… send a probe. 


    He glanced across at Cade. Was he ribbing the Mission Specialist gently for his earlier enthusiasm? Gosh no, he wouldn’t do that, it was a serious and practical suggestion.


    OK maybe. There had been that slight pause, that glance. But it was still a serious suggestion. 



    • Like 2
  7. ((I just love the interaction and reactions here ❤️))

    Taybrim: Janul alone is not enough to ensure full attendance.  But… we can force that hand.  ::he paused and offered gravely.:: I am going with him.


    There was a clatter as a PADD hit the floor, a reaction that was entirely justified as the CO of the station proudly announced they were ready to go careening into the afterlife.


    DeVeau: I’m sorry...come again? 


    McLaren: The Commodore will be going with Janul.


    Tatash couldn’t help but chuckle, it was the sheer insanity of the situation, mixed with somehow the total lack of surprise in the Commodores course of action that was actually quite amusing.


    Tatash: Classic.

    • Like 2
  8. what an incredible yet creepy mental picture of an impending conflict:


    A knot formed in Tatash’s stomach. Those ships were old, it would be like Starfleet digging the old Constitution classes out and strapping some new guns to them before throwing them into the front. Tatash would be more inclined to just call them target practice.


  9. I just love seeing cross-ship JPs.  Lovely sim ladies! <3


    ((Starbase 118 Ops - Jalana’s Guest Quarters))


    Since Alora hadn’t gotten to sleep until past dawn, she had spent the rest of the morning sleeping.  After a few hours, however, her body insisted that she get up, far too used to keeping a certain rhythm and schedule.  Because it was shore leave, the day offered up opportunities to do some more pleasurable things, such as introduce herself to people she hadn’t had the opportunity to really meet very well other than a quick greeting at the party, if that.  One such person that came to mind was a certain Commodore who was visiting the base.  As she was wont to do, Alora did not go empty handed.  Perusing her vast array of african violets, she chose one from a cluster of recent babies, selecting the one that had at least a couple of blooms, then made her way out. 

    Down the corridor, into the left, back into another corridor, the scientist turned First Officer made her way through, smiling at those whom she met on the way.  Eventually, she came to the doors of the intended and pressed the button that would spur the computer to chirp and alert the occupant of her arrival.  As soon as the doors opened, she stepped inside, her smile lighting up her face.  


    DeVeau: Hello Commodore Rajel. 


    Jalana had enjoyed the party. Just like many other visitors of the festivities she had gotten to bed late. And what a bed it was. It was not standard like on the ship, but more cozy. Having enjoyed the comfort, she now enjoyed a lengthy breakfast that she luckily didn’t have to cook, replicators were magical inventions for the cooking impaired. Just when she bit into a bread roll the door chime went off and so she rose from the chair and headed to the door. As it opened a woman was revealed that Jalana had seen the night before. A bright smile appeared on the Trill’s face, her green eyes sparkled. 


    Rajel: Alora! Please, Jalana is enough. Formality isn’t necessary. 

    DeVeau: Excellent. Jalana it is then! Like the commodore, Alora had never been big on formality.  Oh yes, there was a time and a place for it, but in a situation like this, she was more inclined to drop the titles and rank.  She was glad the Trill was of the same mind.  


    Rajel: I am having breakfast, care to join me? ::She gestured for her to step inside if she wished:: 


    Ah breakfast. It was late enough it should really be called lunch, but considering she was likely just breaking her fast, the name was appropriate.  At the invitation, Alora’s stomach instantly sent a pang of hunger, reminding her that she hadn’t eaten in quite some time.  Well, she’d come there to spend some time with the woman and get to know her better, and this afforded a grand opportunity. 


    DeVeau: Why thank you, I’d love to.  


    Drawing further into the room, Alora made her way over to the little table and helped herself to a chair.  Before allowing herself to partake of any food, however, she held out the pot which she’d carried all the way from her own quarters.  It was of an off weight hue with mottled brown all over the body.  The insert was of a more solid brown, coordinating nicely with the base.  Settled into that insert, however, was a much more colourful occupant.  Bright, crimson petals grew naturally in the shape of a star with a brilliant yellow stamen smack dab in the center, a golden heart to that stellar flower.  Broad, smooth-edged leaves of a medium green sported lightly quilted lines and stretched out beneath the flowers like a fuzzy carpet.  


    DeVeau: I brought this for you, if you’d like to have it.  I can send you detailed instructions.  


    Jalana followed Alora to the table and looked at the offered plant with surprise in her eyes. She had not expected to receive anything and her whole face lit up. Raising the pot she leans over it to inhale the scent and realized the flowers itself didn’t have one, so all she smelled was the soil, which. A subtle pleasant scent.


    Rajel: These are beautiful. What are they? 


    DeVeau: It’s called an African Violet, a plant from earth.  They’re popular house plants, are easy to care for, and quite beautiful.  Keep them happy and they can bloom up to nine or ten months out of a Terran year.  


    Rajel: How wonderful. Thank you so much. They will find a special place on the Conny. 

    DeVeau: Not a problem.  I’ll have those instructions sent to you by this evening.  


    With a smile she took another look at the flowers, and set the pot aside on the table carefully. She loved color and that would add some to her quarters. She would make sure to look at the instructions and if necessary ask Sherana for first aid. Or call Alora. She gestured to the chair and took one herself. 


    Rajel: Please feel at home. ::She chuckles:: It is more yours than mine anyway. Just take what you like. 


    Alora peered over at the food that was available.  Did the woman replicate all that, or have a place deliver it?  Either way, she had a little bit of meat and a lot of carbs.  Plucking a bagel from the tray, she took a knife and spread a thick layer of cream cheese over one half.  


    Rajel: So how do I get the honor of a visit?


    DeVeau: I have a habit of doing this, actually.  I like meeting new people, and since you aren’t posted at ops and I’ve never had the privilege of serving anywhere with you, I thought I’d come say hello.  I hope that’s not a problem.  


    Rajel: Not at all. I like getting to know new people and make friends all over the galaxy. ::She grinned:: Have you been on the station before you became First Officer? 


    The Trill reached for her bread roll she had taken a bite from before, some cheese and ham waited for the next bite. A wish she gladly granted. 

    Alora’s eyes twinkled.  Yes, making friends all over the galaxy.  In that, they were the same. 

    DeVeau: I enjoy making new friends.  I was assigned to Ops in the middle of last year.  The First Officer thing wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago.  


    No matter how many times people mentioned it, no matter how many times she talked about it, no matter how many times she looked at that red collar, Alora still felt like it was not quite real.  


    Rajel: Oh all fresh then. ::She grinned brightly:: What have you done before? 

    DeVeau: I’m a Science Officer...well, was a science officer.  I’d actually just become Chief of Science just a couple of months ago.  Nijil’s departure was rather sudden and unexpected, and for some strange reason, Sal picked me. 

    Rajel: Another blue collar, lovely. ::Smiling:: Knowing Sal, he had a good reason. You obviously have made an impression. 


    DeVeau: Either that or I’ve somehow managed to fool him unintentionally.  So you’re a scientist as well?


    Alora laughed softly, then allowed herself a bite of the well slathered bagel.  The cream and salt of the cheese just went so perfectly with the dense earthiness of the bread.  Savouring it, she studied the redhead across from her.  


    Rajel: I’m a medical Doctor, I know it’s technically teal not blue, but teal is a shade of blue so who cares. ::chuckling:: I never imagined I’d become a Co to be honest. Did you expect or plan finding your way to the First Officer’s seat? 


    DeVeau: No and no.  Was never expected, never planned.  Sal just sort of sprung it on me. 


    And then immediately tossed a ton of intel into her lap.  That had been an interesting day.  “Getting her feet wet”, indeed!


    DeVeau: Honestly, I would have been happy being Chief Science Officer for the rest of my career.  That’s where I always saw myself - forever in blue.  Not red. 


    Rajel: Ah, quite a surprise then. ::She reached for her cup, the steam of the Jestral tea floating above it as she pulled it close.:: And now that you are in red, any plans on taking your own command? 


    DeVeau: Oh no, I will definitely not ever seek to be a commanding officer. ::She paused a moment as she allowed herself another bite. ::


    A smile washed over Jalana’s face, it sounded like Alora was quite sure of what she did not want to do. 


    Rajel: Then what are your plans now? ::She finally raised the cup to take a sip:: 


    DeVeau: Maybe I’ll stay First Officer, or maybe I’ll fail dramatically and Sal will take on someone else, but...for the moment, I’m just going to my best to support him and fulfill this role.  I just…

    That sounded good, though of course Jalana wouldn’t be Jalana if she would ignore that last little bit that Alora has interrupted herself. 

    Rajel: You just? 


    Fingers played over the unspread surface of the bread and Alora gazed down at it. 

    DeVeau: I just don’t want to fail Sal. I joked about it, but I really don’t want to let him down.


    Jalana placed her cup back on the saucer on the table, before she cut a croissant in half. She enjoyed trying out food from all over the Galaxy and this one was quickly becoming a favourite of hers. 


    Rajel: What makes you think that you could let him down? 


    DeVeau: Honestly...I’m just not sure about this role he’s put me into. Since I made the decision to apply to the Academy and join Starfleet, I knew what I was going to do. I was going to be a scientist, and my ultimate goal was to be Chief Science officer. 


    Alora picked a crumb from her bagel and idly popped it in her mouth.  All her life, she’d been that way.  Confident in what she was going to do. When she saw something she was interested in, she jumped in, both feet first, never afraid to get her head below the surface and immerse herself completely.  


    DeVeau: I reached that goal, then got shuffled around, and finally reached it again here.  Then, suddenly, Sal’s telling me Nijil’s leaving and he wants me to be First Officer.  I guess it’s just odd.  I’ve always chosen what I wanted to do and aimed for it.  This time, I wasn’t the one doing the choosing.  


    The Trill spread some butter on the two halves and then added some cheese and jam before placing the halves together again. 


    Rajel: I cannot speak for Sal, nor do I know your skills, but I believe he chose you for a reason. We as COs usually choose who we believe is best for our ship, or station for that matter. ::She looked up to Alora with a warm smile:: that does not change that you are nervous about it of course. 


    DeVeau: It’s weird.  I guess I’m just...not used to feeling so uncertain.  I mean, I’ve been nervous before, I guess, but never like this.  I guess I’m worried that maybe I’m not the right choice, that I’m going to wind up messing everything up.  


    Rajel: ::chuckling:: I still have times when I’m not sure if I am doing the right thing, but this isn’t about me. I can’t tell you what to do, how to do your work, but what I can tell you is, that doing your best and putting your trust in Sal teaching you what you need to know, is a good start.


    DeVeau: There’s another problem.  I feel like he shouldn’t have to teach me.  That I should be able to handle things without him putting more work on his plate.  


    Jalana reached across the table to pat Alora’s hand. 


    Rajel: He wasn’t a Commanding Officer from the start either, he knows how it feels to be a new First Officer. You are a team and you will do fine. 


    DeVeau: Thanks for the reassurance.  Alora smiled and finished off the half of her bagel which she’d been slowly working on during the conversation.  As she chewed, she picked up the second half, slathering an even thicker layer of topping onto it.  Yes, she liked a little bagel with her cream cheese. 


    DeVeau: I didn’t know Saveron had become a first officer until we reconnected around Christmas.  I imagine he’s an excellent one.  


    Rajel: Oh yes. He was just promoted around Christmas, so you actually got a timely update. He was a temporary FO for me before and he did a really great job, so when my First Officer left, it was just natural to ask him. 


    If anyone would be a natural, it would be Saveron.  Vulcans in general were stereotypically calm, cool, and collected.  Saveron, however, had something more.  Even though he was a Vulcan, there was just something about him that made him stand out, that made him a perfect choice.  Although Alora couldn’t exactly say what it was if she were asked, which she was sure a Vulcan would think illogical.  


    DeVeau: Honestly, I think he’s an excellent choice.  


    Rajel: I am a quite emotion- and impulse driven person, his logical and calm demeanor puts our teamwork in balance. For example in one of our missions we were in an outpost that was badly damaged and we found labs that were flooded with some gas. I saw someone unconscious inside and was about to jump inside through one of the broken windows but he held me back because the gas was most likely what knocked the scientist out. We then took the long route and all, but without his quick thinking who knows what would have happened. 


    A smile slid across Alora’s face and she nodded.  Yep.  That was Saveron.  Thing was, it wasn’t just him being logical and calm, it was also him thinking about the other person.  Emotions weren’t something he let slip outwardly, but inwardly, there was a deeply caring person. 


    DeVeau: We sound a lot alike.  Honestly, it’s one of the reasons I thought we made a great couple. Jalana raised her eyes and a brow rose slightly up, together with a corner of her mouth forming a smirk.


    Rajel: But dear Alora, usually I don't decide on such matters before we went at least on one date. But you'll have to buy dinner and woo me properly.


    For a moment, Alora sat there and blinked at the red headed commodore.  Then, she erupted in musical laughter, through her head back, then shaking it. 


    DeVeau:  No!  No!  I mean, Sav and me!  Sorry, but you’re not my type!

    She continued to laugh, though it softened down to a giggle which she managed to stifle somewhat with a large bite of the second half of her bagel.  


    The Trill joined in the laughter and shook her head, raising a hand, her green eyes sparkling in amusement. 


    Rajel: That is your loss, dear, I am amazing. ::She grinned and shook her head again.:: No worries, it was a mere joke. I can’t resist a good opening. ::Leaning forward:: So Saveron and you? 


    That piqued her curiosity. 


    DeVeau: Yeah, several years ago, didn’t work out.  I’m glad he’s found someone else though.  Alora truly was.  And while Kalin had been the sort to admit to emotions, there were other aspects of him that were similar to Saveron.  Perhaps that was why they had made a great couple.  They say that time healed all wounds, but the stab that gutted her then almost took Alora’s breath away.  She should have known better.  Quickly, she took another bite, lowering her gaze and trying to push her thoughts in a completely different direction before everything spiraled out of control. 


    DeVeau: How long have you been in Command of the Conny?


    The sudden change of subject did not go unnoticed by Jala, but she wouldn’t go and push a subject on Alora she didn’t want to talk about. Of course she was still curious, but not enough to do that. She took a bite from her croissant and thought about that question. 


    Rajel: It’s been 5… no 6 years this June. ::A chuckle:: Man how time flies. 


    DeVeau: I have to admit, I hope that’s one job I’m never given. 


    Rajel: They usually ask before throwing you in. Granted for me it was right on the bridge presenting the ship and adding a line of ‘if you want it that is’. That is a little hard to decline but I know if I really didn’t want to I could have said that. 


    Alora couldn’t help but giggle.  Well now, what would one say to that?  No thank you?  Well, for Alora, that would have been exactly the answer she would have given.  Not her thing. She was quite happy to stay where she was.  


    DeVeau: So, almost six years ago, just sort of threw a ship at you, huh?


    Rajel: It happened right after I was joined and I guess I got a little adventurous. ::Chuckling:: I also had that little nagging past life voice in my head, telling me that someone will be very unhappy if I do it, so I had to. 


    DeVeau: So a symbiote telling you not to made you do it, is that it?


    Rajel: One of my past hosts was a Captain in the Trill Private Service, right at the time when Trill joined the Federation and the TPS was integrated into Starfleet. She was not happy about it back then so… ::smirking:: I had to show her that I do what I want. 


    Alora nodded as she took another bite of the bagel.  Being joined with a symbiote sounded quite intriguing, but also confusing.  To have that voice, and in a sense, multiple voices in one’s head.  

    DeVeau: Does it sometimes seem like the lines between you and your symbiote blur?  How do you keep from losing yourself?

    The question was fair, it was one of those things that was hard to grasp when one wasn’t joined. Despite being trained for it, it had been surprising for Jalana. 


    Rajel: It does, sometimes. You see, it isn’t that you actually talk with the Symbiont just like you don’t talk with your past self from last year. But you share memories. So something may make you remember something from the past, a situation, a smell, a name, all this stuff. So that’s the same for joined Trills, but with a lot more memories. ::She paused briefly:: There are times when I remember something and I forget that they are not my memories, because for the symbiont, they are his memories and emotions and shares them with me. But when I think about it I remember who they belonged to. 


    Munching on he bagel, Alora processed the information that had been shared.  It sounded very complex, but she could, she supposed, get a sense of what she meant.  Not necessarily by choice.  


    DeVeau: It sounds difficult. 

    It had been for her.


    Rajel: It’s an active process of reminding myself who I am, something I do every day. It’s something we are trained for before being joined. That’s why that training takes so many years to prepare us for it, and why we get tested until the moment it happens to see if we are suitable. There have been times when a host became overwhelmed and that didn’t end well. 


    Including her own first host, something she had never talked about, and probably wouldn’t for a long time. 


    DeVeau: I see.  I have to admit, it’s something that sounds difficult to truly comprehend, not in the same way as actually hosting a symbiote.  


    Well, she was not a Trill, but it was interesting to talk about, interesting to consider.  


    DeVeau: How long have you been joined? 

    Rajel: ::Smiling:: I was joined a week before I received Command. It was quite a gift. 


    She was especially proud of having reached that milestone without the help of that symbiont. It was all her own work and effort. Something that she sometimes had worried about when thinking about being joined, how much of that was actually her and how much was past experiences. But knowing she had gotten there by herself was something she reminded herself of every now and then. 


    DeVeau: What made you decide to pursue joining with a symbiote?


    Jalana smiled and leaned back, crossing her legs as she recalled. 


    Rajel: I don’t know how familiar you are with the system but only a few people are chosen to become hosts and they undergo rigorous training to assure that they are the best choice for the symbiont. That makes it quite… prestigious. My father is an Ambassador but neither he, nor my mother or brother were suitable hosts. Back then when I applied I was young and still in training to follow my father’s footsteps. And it would have been the pride of the family if accepted and being his successor… 


    Ah, yes, parents were like that.  There was something, it seemed, about having children and wanting them to succeed, whether it be in a shared field or in a field where the parents were not successful.  For Alora’s mother, it was music and the stage.  Her mother had never quite made it on the stage, and she had hoped her daughter would attain that goal.  Yet, when Alora had turned to Science instead, she had both conveyed disappointment, but also support for her daughter’s chosen career.  It was an interesting juxtaposition between desires, but nonetheless, Grace had never made her daughter feel less simply for taking a different path.  


    DeVeau: Going through the training changed things?


    Rajel: ::nodding her head:: That is how it started. But after I got accepted, the more I learned the more I wanted to do it for myself and the symbiont. I realized that it was a true honor, and hoped I would be able to give that symbiont I would receive a new experience... One that is worth it. I still hope so. ::She smiled:: 

    DeVeau: Even if the previous host didn’t want you to?


    Alora grinned, finishing off the last of her bagel.  Leaning back, Alora grabbed a napkin to wipe her hands and dab at her mouth.  DeVeau: So, I was thinking, if you have time and want to explore some of the base, I could show you around.  


    Rajel: ::chuckling:: Even then. And yes that sounds like a wonderful idea. I have only seen a fraction of a percent during my last visit, I would love to see more.


    Her whole face lit up and she suddenly felt as if she had some buzzing bees in her rear and got up. Then realized that Alora may have meant another time and hesitated. 


    Rajel: You do mean now, right? Because I’m ready to go. ::grinning:: 


    DeVeau: Oh yes, I meant right now.


    Rising, Alora’s expression matched that of the Commodores.  She had eagerly anticipated spending time with friends, and now she had the opportunity to do so with her newest one.  DeVeau: No time like the present.  ********


    Commodore Jalana Rajel

    Commanding Officer

    USS Constitution B

    Image Team Co-Facilitator





    Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau

    First Officer

    Starbase 118 Ops



    • Thanks 1
  10. Quote

    The momentary peace of simply enjoying the atmosphere was about to be shoved aside and replaced with a near-famous Max-hug as he trundled his way through the crowd, finding that he wa gradually circling Sal and yet never seeming to get any closer to congratulate his commanding offer and friend.

    Neither it seemed, was he managing to get close enough to assault one Captain Whittaker with a rapid tacklehug off the port bow.

    Instead, he caught sight of another face through the mingling bodies and picked up his pace a little. With a respectful nod and a greeting, he glided around Admiral Hauke before throwing his arms out as he drew close to his target.

    Another red-headed Commodore.


    Maxwell: Incoming! Think fast!

    Beware the stealth-hug

    • Haha 1
  11. (( Starbase 118 - Commercial Sector - Cabo Breeze ))
    The party had been going well. Everyone appeared to be enjoying themselves. The Commodore was just stepping down from his speech and recognitions. Sol caught the eye of the band and nodded. The music started to fade and then pick up in to a slightly more upbeat tempo with just the drummer drumming along with occasional hits from the other instruments. Sol started moving just a bit to the beat as she made her way up to the stage. She stepped up to the mic, reaching one hand behind her back to loosen the laces of her ubiquitous corset, loosening it just enough to that she could fully breathe. She was gonna need all the lung power she could muster.
    McLaren: Well now that all the formalities are out of the way I think its time we really got this party started... we have a lot to celebrate tonight. :: She grinned. ::
    Sol reached down and picked up her trombone, which had been silently sitting on the stage all night joining in with the group and the music continued to build for a few more moments more before ending in a riff before the rest of the band picked back up at a slightly quicker tempo again. She let her trombone dangle from the crook of her arm, moving with the beat as she stepped back up to the mic.
    McLaren: Ohhhh... :: She clapped along with the beat, trying to encourage the group to clap along and get moving. :: ...feel like throwin' it up.... ohhhh I feel like throwin' it up... here we go!
    Sol again stepped back bringing her horn back to her lips joining in with the song, moving along with the beat as she played, her foot stomping with the beat. The funky beat seemed purposefully written for her instrument, letting her blare high notes and utilize every bit of the range it had. After a few minutes of playing she dropped out and let the rest of the band play, again stepping up to the mic. She was again clapping to the beat.
    McLaren: Uh... I say ah! I feel like throwin' it up. :: beat: I say ah! I feel like throwin' it up. :: beat : I say now ah! I feel like throwin' it up. :: beat :: I say now aHh! I feel like throwin' it up, uh... You feel like throwin' it up, throwin' it up. Throwin' it up, throwin' it up. Blowin' it up, blowin' it up. Blowin' it up blowin-- you feel like throwin' it up, blowin' it up. Blowin' it up, throwin' it up. Throwin' it up, throwin' it up, ooooo.
    Sol stepped back bringing her horn back up to her lips to finish up the song. The song eventually grew into a crescendo before finishing of with a strong note at the end. She brought her horn down setting it on its stand. It was clear she was breathing heavily. She stepped back, gesturing to the rest of the band before they started back up into more upbeat music in the same style that people could dance to. She started moving to the beat as she came down off the stage, retightening her corset back up. She tied the laces back off, dancing along to the beat, seeing just who else she could dance with. She spied the Commodore, gesturing from him to join her.
    McLaren: Enjoy yourself, Sal!
    Taybrim: ?
    McLaren: Well, I figured theres a lot of things coming down the pipe at us... the crew could use a proper party to cut loose and just have fun. What better way than with soulful music and dancing?
    Taybrim: ?
    McLaren: Besides all that... I dont get as much time to play as I used to... so this was a great way to keep my skills sharp. :: She laughed. :: I enjoy entertaining just as much as I enjoy my job... if anything its good to know I could probably fall back on it if Starfleet winds up not working out. :: She laughed again. :: Not that I plan on that.
    Taybrim: ?
    (( OOC; Enjoy the party! Have fun! ))
    Lt. Commander Solaris McLaren
    Director of Intelligence
    Starbase 118 Ops
    • Like 1
  12. Quote

    The preparations were coming along great and most things were almost ready for the party. It wouldn’t be long until they would be able to take a few minutes themselves and get ready to enjoy the event… that was until the error was found. It would have been easy to overlook the wrong shade of maroon or the duller luster of the silver in the cloths and banners, but to spell something as significant as the new rank for the Commodore wrong… well that would be a HUGE error.

    I love this whole cake fiasco!  🤣

    • Haha 1
  13. OMGz, I loved this sim.  Poor Lazarus!

    Another crunch. He looked around again in the dim light, and noticed that his acoustic guitar was no longer perched on its stand by the side of his desk. Crunch-twang! The sound of strings popping.
    Davis: :: hushed but sharp :: ADMIRAL!
    Davis: :: hushed but sharp :: ADMIRAL! C’mere.
    Lazarus hopped up from the couch. The sound was close, but where was it? He checked around the sides, underneath… and then he heard a rustle behind the couch. He lunged and peered over the edge of the couch, hoping to find a salvageable guitar. 
    Instead he found a teacup targ, quite impressed him itself, lording over its latest kill. The guitar had been punctured, stepped on, and chewed by this point. Referring to it as a guitar at all was almost a misnomer–it was that badly damaged.
    Davis: :: whispering :: No, no no, no-no-no. Admiral! Buddy! Get out of there!
    Admiral just stood over his kill and wagged his tail, snout high in the air.
    Lazarus took a moment to calm down before reaching behind the couch to move Admiral out of the way and retrieve the carcass. 
    An autopsy was not necessary: the entire body of the guitar was destroyed, and the neck had been thoroughly gnawed. A guitar that he had for years and years. Of course, he could have another in a moment from the replicators… but he would need to break it in all over again. It was a common practice among musicians to store their particular instruments replicator pattern in case of loss. Unfortunately, Lazarus had never done that with this guitar because he never valued his own guitar playing enough. But right now, he was kicking himself.

    And the one-liner:


    Davis: Admiral ate my guitar.


    • Like 1
    • Haha 2
  14. what a fantastic description of desserts, especially to an alien species!  Way to go @Sheila Bailey!


    Bailey: Have you ever had Earth desserts before? ::Sheila’s cheeks were pink with happiness. Her smile reaching her eyes::

    Gau Dana: ::Gau looked down:: In truth I have not ever had a dessert before.

    Sheila paused. Never had dessert before? In a case like this it was likely that Gau had never had anything sweet and given the distant resemblance of her species to ancient earth dinosaurs it was more than likely that a consumption of meat was more common. Here Sheila tried to think of a way to describe what having sweets was like. On one hand the taste buds on the tongue registered the compounds in the food allowing the body to process the taste, but what did that actually mean? 

    Firstly most foods that were considered sweat were composed of 12 atoms of carbon, 22 atoms of hydrogen, and 11 atoms of oxygen (C12H22O11). Here sugar is a carbohydrate. Second in order for the body to be able to taste them the substance had to make contact with the tongue. The tongue being an organ with thousands upon thousands of taste buds. Taste buds being small structures residing on papillae or raised bumps on the upper surface of the tongue and palate. Here each taste bud, having 50 to 100 specialized cells known as taste receptor cells, has a job in sensing or responding to a specific taste. And as a fun fact taste receptor cells weren’t only located in the mouth. Yet here the sensation of taste was not sent to the brain. In these areas a person would be unable to tell if the substance was bitter or sweet. Nevertheless the gut and pancreas had the responsibility of sensing nutrients in this area and keeping hormones essential in the metabolic processes in order; in these processes the body either broke down organic matter or worked to construct the components of a cell. In essence sugar was an important part of the body, helping it function at an optimal level. On the other hand ingesting too much sugar could change the way one perceives taste. Foods that once tasted fine could become distorted and end up being bland or bad in nature. Not to mention the health risk to ingesting more than the optimal amount of sugar. 

    All that was more or less a scientific explanation for the act of tasting and processing sugar. It was much harder to describe what sweet foods actually tasted like. Most sweets were soft, or had a distinct crunch to them. Light, airy, pleasureful to experience.  

    Bailey: Never? ::Sheila was surprised yet continuing to smile, enjoying herself::


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  15. Quote

    Terrifying?  Wasn’t everything that had been said already terrifying?  Now it was Sal’s turn for one of Alora’s sidelong glances.  Go on a shake down cruise, he said.  Get her feet wet, he said.  This felt more like she was getting dunked with little option to breathe.

    Well... you know... it was a safe flight?! :whistling:

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  16. I do so love watching a difficult emotional scene where the characters are genuine, flawed and vulnerable.  This was a lovely JP you two!!


    ((Starbase 118 Ops - Holodeck 24))

    The Denobulan hybrid sat at the helm of the shuttlecraft, there on the holodeck.  It was a relatively small shuttle, nothing fancy.  Room for four in the cockpit.  All around him was open blue sky, little puffy clouds in the distance on the clear and calm day.  The shuttle was in the atmosphere of some planet, which could have been Earth.  It appeared warm and Mediteranean in climate, from what one could see high above from the view port.


    Ashley had invited Anthony nervously, and by message, not by the comms.  If Anthony wasn’t interested, he could just… not show up.  Ashley would understand.


    It had been a couple days since he’d been forcibly plucked out of Verriars bar, playing his drunken tongo and making an absolute ass of himself.  He’d spent the next morning in sickbay, getting rehydrated… Alora had been there every step of the way, giving him some friendly but stern harassment… which he’d more than earned… asking about the *why* of it all, dragging his still-intoxicated and increasingly hung-over butt to sickbay to get IV fluids.


    He had spent the previous day, after recovering from his hangover, getting caught up with his own counselor back on Earth via subspace.  She had been relatively *brutal* in her attempt to determine the source of the downward spiral, and had some choice words about his backsliding after all the progress he’d made in the past year.


    He had also gone to sickbay for some further scans, for Doctor Bailey’s prescribed treatment, and had also begun going through his fellow starbase counselors files, trying to find one he might communicate well with.


    It had… not been a great couple days.


    His descent into drunken idiocy after two years of sobriety made it pretty obvious he needed to do better with self-care.  That was step one.


    Actually, getting treatment and stabilizing was step one.  Promising Alora at least seven separate times he wouldn’t go to Verriar’s alone anymore was step two.  So self-care would be step three.


    The next step was to reach out… he needed to catch up with the Marine who he had dismissed, invalidated, come on to, lobbed innuendo at, made to carry, nearly barfed on, and cursed at… had he cursed at Anthony?  Or had that been his internal, angry-drunk monologue?  Either way… it was hardly the worst of what he’d done.


    His stomach was full of nerves, so he’d chosen their stomping grounds.  The holodeck seemed somehow safer, since it was where he and Anthony often met up for various things, for play, for work, for training.  A public place was too… public.


    To Tony, the receipt invitation in the way it had come had seemed unnecessary and out of character for his friend. There wasn’t anything overt about the invite that was out of place, but Tony could sense something wasn’t exactly right. In any case, the invite had been on the table, and Tony wasn’t exactly one to ignore a good time.


    Arriving at the holodeck, Tony paused at the doors before they slid obediently open. The sounds of the already running, but idle program wafted out to greet him. The sounds of a shuttlecraft and the requisite systems set an intriguing tone to the moment. Stepping inside, Tony greeted his friend.


    Meeks:  Hey, Ashley. 


    Ashley set amethyst eyes on the Marine, and he took a largely silent but deep breath through his nose as he steeled himself for it.


    Two days ago, this man had had to forcibly carry him out of Verriars bar… he’d made crude attempts to take Anthony home with him, and said far too many terrible things.


    Yael:  Anthony.


    Meeks:  What’s going on, Amigo?


    Yael:  I thought…  if you’re not busy… you might like to run a program.  With me.  If you want.  Totally optional.


    Well *that* wasn’t awkward.  He would have face-palmed if he had less self-control.  He had *rehearsed* this in his mind and *that* was how he said it?  Instead of self-slapping, he grit his teeth and stopped himself talking before it became a babble instead of an invitation.


    Nervousness in Ashley’s voice was palpable, causing a bit of concern for Tony. 


    Meeks:  Of course, bud. 


    Tony sat in the seat next to his friend, swiveling the chair to face him. 


    Meeks: What’s really going on, Ashley?


    Yael:  ::trying to smile::  That obvious, huh.


    The Denobulan hybrid glanced out of the view port, clearly chewing on the thing preoccupying him.


    Yael:  I thought… I’d try to apologize.  ::then more quietly::  I was kind of awful to you.


    Meeks:  Not necessary.


    Yael:  You didn’t deserve it.  And… thank you?  I suppose… for getting me out of there when you did.


    Spinning the chair into position, Tony started working the controls, preparing to assume the flight duties. He began looking the instruments over, listening to Ashley.


    Meeks:  That’s what friends do, Pard. 


    Ashley glanced at Anthony, concerned at the very quick forgiveness.  Was that genuine?  Was Anthony secretly internalizing the violation of his friendship?  Was he harboring vast resentment under the calm surface?!  He… actively tried to stop thinking about it.  Face value.  Take it at face value.  And don’t let it happen again.  But why couldn’t he brush off the feeling Anthony *should* be angry with him?  Perhaps it was because he was angry at himself and he was displacing his feeling onto his friends.

    Yael:  Right… 


    Meeks: Where we going?


    Yael:  Ah… nowhere.  Well, that’s not accurate, really.  Down.  We’re going down.


    Meeks:  Down? ::There had to be a little panic in Tony’s voice::


    Yael:  No, not crash landing!  ::he managed to laugh lightly, nerves still apparent::  I thought I’d give you the opportunity to throw me out of a perfectly good shuttlecraft.


    Meeks:  What? ::The panic was still there::


    Standing, the Denobulan hybrid moved to the gear stowed near the back, lifting a harness and pack in both hands.  And if Anthony *was* harboring inner resentment toward him, maybe tossing him to his theoretical doom could be some sort of therapy.


    Yael:  Who knows.  It could be therapeutic.


    Meeks:  You’re the therapist here, bud, but I’m not sure that’s in the text books.


    It was then Tony saw the pack in Ashley’s hands. Not just a pack, but a parachute designed to slow a single person’s descent following a freefall. The panic lessened and likely the cracking in Tony’s voice subsided.


    Yael:  There’s a pack for you too.  If you want to jump.


    Meeks:  Are you certified?


    Yael:  Certified…?  ::blanching slightly::  Wait… are *you* certified?


    Meeks: Of course I am. It’s part of the Pararescue training. 


    Yael:  That’s good.  ::regaining his confidence, and smiling::  Then you’ll know what you’re doing.


    Ashley set the pack down again, but moved to unclasp the buckles in preparation.


    Meeks:  Have you ever jumped before?


    Yael:  No.  It’s just something I’ve thought I should do… you know.  A “bucket list” sort of thing.


    Meeks:  Bucket list!?!? You’re going to jump out of a shuttle for a bucket list?


    Ashley paused with his working of the straps and looked at his friend now.  He may have given a little too much away there.


    Yael:  Isn’t that… something people do?


    Meeks: There’s usually a little more planning than this though, Ash. Especially for skydiving. There’s kind of a process.


    Yael:  ::trying to laugh it off::  I see.  So that’s a “no,” then.


    He couldn’t believe what he was hearing and seeing. It probably was just surreal enough that Tony stood there, mouth agape, not really processing what was going on. 


    Meeks: Um, yeah… no.


    It still wasn’t reality yet that Ashley was serious about doing this. Tony tried as he might to shake it off, but it wouldn’t go away.


    Yael:  It *was* kind of a spur-of-the-moment thought, I guess… I didn’t realize plummeting to Earth was a complicated matter.


    Still trying with the humor to deflect from the nerves he felt, and dig out of the hole he felt he’d gotten himself into, the Denobulan abandoned the pack straps entirely.


    Yael:  You okay?  This was too much, wasn’t it.


    Meeks:  I’m fine, Bud. You really want to do this? If you want to do it, we’re gonna do it right. Ok?


    The Denobulan perked up at that.


    Yael:  Right.  Okay.  What’s the “right” way?


    Scooping up the pack, Tony slipped the buckles loose on the shoulder straps and tossed the pack to Ashley. Snatching the second pack up, Tony slipped the buckles loose and checked the bindings. 


    Meeks: Are these holodeck chute packs?


    Yael:  Yes.


    Meeks: Okay. If we do this, we’re gonna do it tandem. You good with that?


    Yael:  Tandem.  You mean… together.  Same chute?


    Meeks: That’s exactly what I mean. I’m gonna strap your ass to me and we’re gonna bail out of this shuttle together. All the way to the ground.


    Yael:  I was kind of hoping for a *solo* flight.  


    Tony dropped the chute pack he was holding, allowing it to hit the floor with a hard thud.  He stood there, arms crossed, staring at his friend, who had jumped in surprise at the sudden drop of the gear.


    Meeks: What’s goin’ on, Ashley. 


    Yael:  ::canting his head slightly to the side::  What do you mean?


    Meeks: I’m your friend, right?


    Yael:  Of course.


    Meeks: Then, why the bullshit?


    The tone had shifted, and the little hairs on the back of the Denobulans neck stood on end.  Feeling genuinely chastised, he tried to reclaim the smile that threatened to melt off his face.  Still, he stiffened his posture, not knowing what to expect but understanding one thing well enough.  He’d pushed too far.


    Yael:  Anthony…?


    Meeks: Tell me… are you sick? Dying? Something bad?


    Ashley set eyes on his friend and couldn’t tear them away.  Couldn’t blink.  Barely breathed.  The smile he’d rescued was gone.


    Yael:  ::less than sure in his tone::  Why would you ask that…?


    Tony stepped forward, dropping his arms to his sides. He stopped within a couple of feet of where Ashley stood, the muscles in his jaw tight.


    Meeks: You seem to have a deathwish lately. Complete self destruction.


    The Denobulan hybrid took a step back almost defensively, but still felt Anthony towering over him.  He had to look up to maintain eye contact now, his eyes widening with restrained alarm as his friend cornered him.


    Yael:  How so…?


    Meeks: Let’s start with that little show you gave at the bar the other day. Wanna explain that?


    Yael:  That was… it was a *mistake*, but…


    He stepped back again, as if he were stepping out of the Marines' very large shadow.  His eyes lowered to the floor, his deflective invalidating of that night clearly a lie.


    Tony stepped forward to match the retreat of the smaller man. 


    Meeks: I get mistakes Ash. I will ALWAYS be there for you, brother. I will pull your ass out of any fire you get it into… hell, I’ll even let you puke on me... No sweat. I WON’T let you kill yourself though.


    Yael:  ::nowhere near convincing enough::  I’m *not* trying to kill myself...


    Meeks: ::Scoffs:: Go ahead… keep telling yourself that. 


    The Denobulan knew Anthony could see every deflection he tried, and standing in the Humans presence made the truth the only possible path forward.  Stil, it caught in his throat as he stepped back again, his heel touching the wall of the shuttlecraft behind him.  He was physically trapped as much as he might have been mentally.


    His eyebrows knitted tight together, jaw clenching, and couldn’t look Anthony in the eye as he spoke with the diminishing last of his resolve, conflicted.


    Yael:  It’s a *holodeck*, Anthony.  Nobodies dying here.


    Meeks: I know it’s a damned holodeck. That doesn’t matter one little bit, Ash… It’s all the other stuff you’ve been doing to yourself that tells the story. What the F… What’s wrong with you?


    Tony caught himself before he went too far, the anger swelling in his chest. He didn’t realize how angry he was at his friend until just that moment. 


    Meeks: You’re being a dick!


    Ashley flinched at that, but his gut told him he deserved it, so he failed to protest the brutal honesty.


    Tony reached into his pocket and withdrew a small silver oblong disk. He held it for a moment, then tossed it on the floor at Ashley’s feet. The little metal object clattered to a stop against Ashley’s foot, glinting silently in the lights of the shuttle.


    Meeks: Pick it up.


    Yael:  ::eyeing the disk suspiciously, then back up to Anthony, he didn’t move::  What is it?


    Meeks: Pick it up, Ash. Read it. 


    Cautiously, he reached down for it now, as if it might bite.


    The little metal disk lay there, waiting. The words embossed on it simple and straight forward. The name, last name first, not telling the whole story, but only the main player. 


    Lifting it and standing, Ashley realized as he felt the raised metal, read the name, saw the blood type.  And he knew.


    Meeks: That guy was my brother too. I would have gone to hell and back for him. In fact, I did. Just… he didn’t come back with me. 


    Ashley took a somewhat unsteady breath as the understanding and guilt washed over him.  … he *was* being a massive dick.  And he had the nerve to be self righteous about it… to lie about it.  He hadn’t changed at all.


    Meeks: THAT’S why I’m not going to give up on you. I don’t want yours in my pocket.


    Yael:  ::bluntly, without looking up from the tag::  It’s fatal.


    Tony stood there for a moment, preparing a sharp retort at what he initially thought was a smartass reply from Ashley. Then the realization set in that his friend wasn’t talking about the dog tag, or the skydiving trip.


    Meeks: What the hell are you talking about? What’s fatal?


    For a moment he didn’t move, then the tag raised, and Ashley moved to hand it to Anthony.  Slowly, and a bit unsteady in between two fingers.  When he spoke again, it was deeper, and on the verge of anger.


    Yael:  The only difference between him and me is how fast it happens.  Quick or slow.  Which would *you* pick.  


    Staring into the eyes of the man, Tony saw the determined anger in him. It was from deep within him the emotion manifested, and had bubbled to the surface. It wasn’t depression, nor was it really fear that Tony could see. It was anger.


    Meeks: ::His voice softening:: What? Now it’s your turn. What are you talking about?


    Eyes turning up to set on Anthony now, the softer tone did nothing to quell it now that it was loose, and Ashley spoke without thinking, his voice rising.


    Yael:  I’m asking what *you* would pick, Anthony!  Fast or slow.  WHICH ONE.  Because those are the ONLY CHOICES!  It’s not up for debate, it doesn’t care if you throw yourself out of a shuttle, or drink yourself under the table.  It’s going to kill you ANYWAY!


    Tony was taken back by the outburst. He had seen the anger in his friend’s eyes, and now he heard it in his voice. It was real now.


    Meeks:  I still don’t get it, Ash. What are you talking about? Are you sick?


    Trying to physically yank himself back under control and restrain the instinct to continue abusing Anthony, Ashley’s body reacted to the mental effort by jerking backward the last few inches, bumping into the wall and then staying there.  The options were the wall, or Anthony, and he couldn’t very well go *through* Anthony.  His eyes fell down to the floor, and his posture shrank somewhat.


    Yael:  There’s nothing anyone can do.  Neurological disorder.  Genetic component.  Progressive, degenerative.  Watch it happen in slow motion.  You pretend to fight the battle, but you can’t win the war.


    Tony listened to the words, not completely understanding what they meant. He knew Ashley had to deal with some stuff, especially whatever had caused him to have to wear the braces on his arms, but had never thought to ask about it. Ashley was his friend, pure and simple. Tony had never thought any different, and had never considered his friend’s need to wear the braces as anything other than that… something his friend had to do. He always figured it would be up to Ashley to tell him what it was about, when Ashley was ready to. It had never come up in their conversations. 


    Meeks: ::Quietly:: How long?


    Yael:  Quality or quantity?


    The retort came out sharp like a knife, and the Denobulan had to shake his head and tell himself to bite his tongue.  Stop *fighting.*  Even though every cell in him told him this was a fight, this wasn’t supposed to be a fight.


    Yael:  Five years?  Ten?  What’s left after is a life *you* would never accept living.


    Tony hadn’t expected to be told what he was hearing. He had known there was something underlying in Ashley’s history, something had caused him to have to wear those braces, but hadn’t considered a terminal diagnosis. The braces had never mattered to him because they were just part of Ashely. He had other friends who had to use assistance devices, Sheila Bailey being the nearest to them now, and he didn’t take any of them into consideration as to how he looked at them as the people they were. Frankly, it didn’t matter to him. Standing frozen, his gaze unwavering, Tony processed what he heard.


    A braced hand came up to cover half his face for a moment, as if it were a mask.


    Yael:  And you won’t need another one of *those.*  ::meaning the dog tag::  I haven’t done anything to *rate* one.


    Meeks:  Why didn’t you say something...?


    Ashley interrupted him sharply, the anger bristling as he lifted his face to look Anthony in the eyes again, no longer cowering under the larger Human.  The look in his eyes was *raw*, and the veneer of calm the Denobulan usually wore was completely stripped away.


    Yael:  I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to LOOK at me the way you’re looking at me RIGHT NOW!


    The outburst snapped Tony back to the moment, and the abruptness brought the emotions he was feeling to the surface. It was almost as if he’d been slapped, then slapped again. First when the news had been delivered, then with the angry retort. It was a good thing that his friend wasn’t standing in the corner crying about it any more.


    Meeks:  ::His gaze stiffening:: Do you think you have the corner on the pain market?


    Tony didn’t raise his voice. In fact, it lowered and contained a bit more bass than usual. 


    Yael:  ::caught by the shift in the Marines tone::  What…?  No, I...


    Meeks: We’re all terminal, Ash. From the minute we’re born, we’re terminal. We get to live until we don’t. That’s life.


    The Denobulan had been all amped up for more of a fight, but immediately backed down at the shift in Anthony’s demeanor… still, somehow he maintained eye contact.  The wise statement, however sage it might have been, also made the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end with its delivery.  He took a breath in, trying to *think* rather than just react.


    Yael:  I *know* that… I know it, but that’s oversimplifying things.


    Meeks:  How so? 


    Yael:  It changes when people know.  You’d have held back…


    The training.  The holodeck adventures.  Everything had a tone, not just voices.  Actions shifted and flowed just like words, and everything would have been different.  Subtly, but different.  Maybe Tony would have held back in hand to hand training.  Maybe he wouldn’t push Ashley so hard.  Maybe things would be said differently, more cautiously.  As if he were made of glass and might break.  There would be “no’s” where in any other case it might be a “yes.”


    He felt the heat in his ears, the blood rushing into the capillaries as his brain was inundated with oxygen filled blood. He felt the anger swell at the response from his friend. The audacious belief that Tony would have ever treated him differently incensed him, driving him forward. Thoughtfully, Tony reached out and lovingly punched the little Denobulan in the face. The punch was hard, not meant to necessarily hurt the man, but definitely enough to let him know he’d been hit.


    Ashley stumbled seriously to the side, shock overtaking him as he caught himself on the wall, his eyes watering from the blossoming pain.


    Meeks:  How’s that for treating you different, you little turd? How dare you put those words in my mouth? How dare you take away my choice?


    Lifting a hand to his face, Ashley tasted blood in his mouth.  He was dazed for a moment… then he lifted his eyes to Tony… and with all the energy he could muster he sent his fist into the Marines jaw from beneath.


    Yael:  ::shouting::  I *KNOW* you can hit harder than that!


    Tony stumbled backward, impressed by the effort his friend had put into the punch. He had hit him hard, and Tony had to take a step to regain his footing. 


    Meeks:  ::Rubbing his jaw:: You’ve been working out… 


    Tony dropped his weight onto the balls on his feet, more out of instinct than real need. This had opened a whole new can of worms.


    Meeks: This what you want, Ash? 


    Yael:  I want you to *stop holding back!*


    Meeks: You’re about to take a ride on the pain train, son.


    Yael:  That’s a lot of bluster coming from someone who won’t follow through with his fis-


    Tony didn’t let him complete his thought before he lashed out and struck Ashley in the face again. This time, the blow landing against the left cheek under the Denobulan’s eye. The punch had a little more behind it this time, driving Ashley back against the bulkhead.


    The world went black for a sharp second with this more powerful impact, and Ashley went down on one knee with a grunt of pain as the world spun.  A few drops of blue-red blood flicked to the ground when he shook his head to clear his blurred vision.  He forced himself back onto his feet, stepping back once unsteadily… but he wasn’t retreating, and he certainly wasn’t thinking… he braced his foot behind him, lowered his shoulder, and with two running steps drove into Anthony’s middle, forcing the larger man momentarily into the air and off his feet before they fell back onto the floor.


    With a grunt, Tony felt the deck meet his face. The impact sent stars through his vision, and for a moment he was stunned. It took a second to get his thoughts back, but by now the instinct of the fight had taken over. He rolled onto his back and then climbed to his feet. Without consideration, he struck out with a foot, kicking Ashley in the ribs.


    Meeks:  Give it a rest, Ash. You don’t hav… Ugh!


    The Denobulan had jolted back with the kick, the air forced from his lungs.  He clutched his stomach and had to force himself to stay on his feet, coughing and sucking in several breaths of air… haphazardly he pushed forward and threw an elbow into Anthony’s lower gut.  It was less an aimed blow, but he still put what little strength he had left into it.  In the course of a single conversation he’d gone from PHD to complete idiocy.  He wasn’t even trying to *win* anything.  He just desperately needed to prove he COULD.  He could create a full scale psychological study.  He could learn to fire a highly powered rifle.  He could move past his limitations.  And he could give his own true effort in a fight.


    With that gut instinct driving him, he spun on his feet, a fist flying behind his momentum and aiming for Tony’s face.  But the motion advertised his intent and wasn’t quite as quick as his first blows.  He didn’t have the energy to keep it up even if he had the anger to keep going.


    While the impact might not have been as fast as before, it was still as hard. Stars erupted in Tony’s vision, spurred on by Ashley’s knuckles. Sparkling lights lit up and the shuttle spun around in his vision, but it wasn’t the shuttle that was spinning, it was Tony. He caught himself against the bulkhead and pushed back, countering the momentum and spinning him back around. Thrusting his left fist out, he used the momentum to put what little power he could behind the punch. He didn’t necessarily aim the punch at the Denobulan’s head, but that’s where it landed. The remaining momentum behind the punch drove Tony forward, stumbling him into Ashley.


    The Denobulan flinched just as the blow came in, but only managed to change the point of impact slightly to the side of his head, then he felt Anthony’s heavy weight bearing down on him.  He was forced backward and stumbled himself, and reactively grasped the arm and chest of Tony’s uniform to stop himself falling back.  He only managed to bring Tony down on top of himself with a surprised shout.


    Tony flopped hard on top of his friend, his full weight coming to bear on the little man. Ashley’s knee planted into Tony’s ribs, driven in only by Tony’s weight. There was a nearly inaudible “crack”, but the yelp Tony made could definitely be heard. Slipping off of Ashley, he flopped to the floor and rolled away. It took a few seconds, but Tony pulled himself up onto his hands and knees.


    The weight of the large Human coming down on him drove the air out of his lungs, and there was a *POP* in his knee as the bony plate was momentarily shoved out of place when Tony’s bones came into contact with it.  It slipped back, but the damage had been done, and as Tony moved away defensively he clutched the knee and rolled the other way with a strangled shout of pain.  Catching his breath, he forced himself up without using the offended leg, stumbling and using the cockpit chair to balance as he expected another blow forthwith… but was surprised when Tony remained where he was.


    Meeks:  ::Breathing heavily:: You really want to keep going?


    Tony clutched his gut, trying to rub a little of the discomfort away. He backed up and sat on the bench and spit a clot of blood onto the floor. Wiping the remnants from his mouth, he looked over at the man across the shuttle from him. 


    Yael:  You… ::wiping the back of his hand over his mouth, it came away glistening with blood:: … seemed more than happy to…


    Why’d he stop?  The Denobulan wasn’t sure why, but a great sense of relief washed over him.  He let himself fall back hard onto his ass on the deck of the holographic shuttle, panting hard and flinching as his knee was jarred. 


    Meeks: Alright… you win. Better?


    Amethyst eyes flicked up onto the Human, his friend, who for *some* reason was not bashing his skull into the wall.  His vision was cloudy from the pain in his face, and his ribs ached where he’d’ been kicked.


    Yael:  … I don’t… think anybody wins this kind of thing.


    Meeks:  ::Spitting again:: You’re probably right.


    Yael:  Are you hurt?

    He wasn’t asking for his pride.  The stupidity of what he’d just done was washing over him as the anger that had fueled him was cured by the pain he now felt.  He was fairly sure he couldn’t take Anthony in a fight, so he wasn’t sure how he’d gotten so many blows in.


    Meeks:  Nothing that an icepack won’t fix. You?


    Tony leaned on his elbows, which were planted on his knees. He could feel the tingling in his upper lip giving way to a low, dull throb. It was swelling, and when he talked it closed funny, causing him to slur his words a little.


    Yael:  ::despite thinking his face was broken::  Same...


    Meeks: Did I teach you to hit like that?


    Spitting a mouthful of blood onto the floor next to him, Ashley adjusted his jaw with difficulty before speaking again.


    Yael:  You’re a good teacher.


    Meeks:  Obviously. ::Allowing a slight chuckle::


    Yael:  You know… you *could’ve* just thrown me out of the shuttle.


    The Denobulan actually smiled at the thought.


    Meeks:  I could have, but then I’da had to go get ya. This was easier.


    A smile crept onto Tony’s face, the fat lip protruding, causing it to be very crooked. He had to give the little guy credit. He didn’t hit softly anymore. 


    After a momentary silent reprieve wherein Ashley considered his swelling eye, he took in a deep breath and sighed, slipping back to lay flat on the deck.  The momentary anger and thrill of the fight was wearing off quickly.


    Yael:  I invited you here to *apologize.*  Not to bash your face in…


    Tony looked up into his friend’s eyes, their light purple hue contrasting with the darker purple that was forming on Ashley’s cheek. He almost laughed at the sight, but thought better of it. 


    Meeks:  Again, not necessary.


    Yael:  I’m sorry I’m a dick.


    Meeks:  Okay, for that I’ll accept your apology. You were being a dick.


    The Denobulan tried to give him a thumbs up from where  he lay on the ground, but it turned into a small wave.


    Yael:  ::quietly::  Awesome.


    Meeks: One thing you need to realize, Ash. I don’t give up on my friends… ever. I’m afraid you’re stuck with me, ::Grinning again:: ...even if you’re being a dick.


    Ashley only smiled, even though it hurt his broken face to do it.




    1Lt. Anthony Meeks
    Company Commander
    1/292nd TMR D Co.
    Starbase 118 Ops/USS Narendra




    Ensign Ashley Yael


    Starbase 118 Ops


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